Straight from the horses mouth - part VIII

This time with a twist. The National Post (via Jihad Watch) published an interview with Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a medical doctor, author and activist who once was a member of Egypt's Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, a banned terrorist organization. He was trained under Ayman al-Zawahiri so he knows what jihadism is about. And more importantly, what it is not about. He has since left the movement and has become an active enemy of islamism. So much so that he needs suveillance round the clock.

I really encourage you to read the whole thing, but here are some choice quotes.

About the ultimate goal:
"Yes, 'imperialism,' " he tells me. "The deliberate and determined expansion of militant Islam and its attempt to triumph not only in the Islamic world but in Europe and North America. Pure ideology. Muslim terrorists kill and slaughter not because of what they experience but because of what they believe."

About root causes:
"The first thing you have to understand is that it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with poverty or lack of education," he says. "I was from a middle-class family and my parents were not religious. Hardly anyone in the movement at university came from a background that was different from mine.

"I've heard this poverty nonsense time and time again from Western apologists for Islam, most of them not Muslim by the way. There are millions of passive supporters of terror who may be poor and needy but most of those who do the killing are wealthy, privileged, educated and free. If it were about poverty, ask yourself why it is middle-class Muslims -- and never poor Christians -- who become suicide bombers in Palestine."

About the character and origins of islamism:
Muslim fundamentalists believe, he insists, that Saudi Arabia's petroleum-based wealth is a divine gift, and that Saudi influence is sanctioned by Allah. Thus the extreme brand of Sunni Islam that spread from the Kingdom to the rest of the Islamic world is regarded not merely as one interpretation of the religion but the only genuine interpretation. The expansion of violent and regressive Islam, he continues, began in the late 1970s, and can be traced precisely to the growing financial clout of Saudi Arabia.

"We're not talking about a fringe cult here," he tells me. "Salafist [fundamentalist] Islam is the dominant version of the religion and is taught in almost every Islamic university in the world. It is puritanical, extreme and does, yes, mean that women can be beaten, apostates killed and Jews called pigs and monkeys."

What jhadism is most definitively NOT about:
"But I can tell you what it is not about. Not about Israel, not about Iraq, not about Afghanistan. They are mere excuses. Algerian Muslim fundamentalists murdered 150,000 other Algerian Muslims, sometimes slitting the throats of children in front of their parents. Are you seriously telling me that this was because of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians or American foreign policy?"

The what should we in the West do?
"Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They're slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want."

Remember, this is somebody who lived it, who walked the walk. Not some post-modernist Western academic white-washing Islam to make the multi-cultural agenda easier to swallow. This guy *knows* what he's talking about. Read and learn, people.

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